While the world’s top national teams — including Team USA — are focusing on Turkey this summer and the FIBA World Championships, there are a number of other events drawing other teams.
Like the 2010 Asian Games. Iran will be taking part in that, playing basketball, but they may not have their best player, Hamed Haddadi. That according to the Mehr News Agency out of Tehran.
“The Asian Games are not an official tournament, so I’m obliged to stay in the U.S. However, Iranian officials are now negotiating with my team to allow me to accompany Iran in China,” the 2.18 meter player said.
The Grizzlies will participate in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas in July. Haddadi took part in the event last season as a substitute.
“I rather not go with the Grizzlies to the NBA Summer League this season, but Iran’s Basketball Federation President Mahmoud Mashhoon insists that I should accompany the NBA team to safeguard my position there,” Haddadi added.
He’s rather not go to Vegas in July, when it’s still 100 degrees out at 11 at night? I can’t imagine why not?
That said, Haddadi’s place is safe with the Grizzlies next season in this sense, he is owed $1.6 million in a guaranteed deal. He will be on the roster. Playing time, well, it’s hard to get minutes behind Marc Gasol and Hasheem Thabeet and center, with Zach Randolph at the four as well. Haddadi is going to have to really earn his burn with that team.
The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.